Warriors

Steinmetz: Best guesses for return dates

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Steinmetz: Best guesses for return dates

Dec. 1, 2010STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORSPAGE WARRIORSVIDEOMatt SteinmetzCSNBayArea.com

When you've had as many injuries as the Warriors have had the past couple of years, you get used the to question: "When's So-and-So coming back?"That's one I've heard a lot frequently because David Lee had been out, and there are three other Warriors not playing.
STEINMETZ: Lee rejoins W's at ideal time
So, here's a quick update on the three injured players.Lou Amundson: He had the splint removed from his right hand a couple of weeks ago, and continues to do light shooting and conditioning work. He told the Contra Costa Times a week or so back that he was targeting Dec. 7 - his birthday - as his hopeful return.Ekpe Udoh: He has increased his activity in recent days to include playing one-one-one with contact, competitive drills and some live action. He originally tore ligaments in his left wrist in early July.Udoh's conditioning is pretty good and you figure the wrist injury itself must be fully healed if he's being allowed to bang. That would lead you to believe Udoh will shatter (in a good way) one of the original timetables for his return - which was six months and into January.
RELATED: Udoh Eyes Return
But several things will factor into Udoh's return. For example, he has never even participated in an NBA practice and the last time he played competitively in practice or a game was last Spring.Udoh also has to learn the plays and better familiarize himself with the offense and defense. Sure, he can look at film and try to learn the X's and O's and even listen into practice, but until he gets out there and goes where he's supposed to go, there's going to be some lag time.Point is, only answer I can come up with regarding Udoh's return would be - almost certainly after Amundson but almost as certainly before the New Year.Brandan Wright: He's been diagnosed with a low back strain with an MRI indicating he's got disc inflammation and been out for almost two weeks now. Wright was at practice on Tuesday, but just watching.No timetable has been given for his return. A couple of days ago, Wright politely declined an interview request. I don't really know what to tell you about Wright - you know backs. RELATED: Reinforcements on their way
What'syour take? EmailMattand let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.